This is a strange story for me to write. It will at times be a sad story, in many ways it will be happy and perhaps even funny. It will be an adventure that entails anxiety, flirting with danger, fortitude in the face of adversity and many attempts to look on the bright side. There will also no doubt be moments of anguish and despair, and a lot of uncertainty. It's a story that will hopefully be cathartic for me, but also interesting and perhaps informative or even entertaining for others.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I want to be me again

I don’t know what I thought my last chemo treatment would bring but after envisioning it for months, it became some sort of benchmark I had to reach in order for things to get better. I think that somewhere in my mind I’ve been thinking “If I can get to treatment six, then everything will be ok”.

Although I feel so excited to have reached this target, I don’t think I could feel much further from my normal pre-cancer self. I’m not totally delusional, and didn’t actually believe that I’d finish the chemo and instantly be fine, but it’s such a crappy journey to be on that it’s hard not to have irrational expectations and be overly optimistic. However, the reality is that I still feel really lousy. I’m still exhausted, run down and just generally out of sorts. I still have tingly fingers, no hair and black circles under my eyes. The face that stares back at me in the mirror still definitely looks like a chemo patient.

I know I need to be patient and give my body time to recover, but I don’t want to. Instead, I’ll have to focus on the positives. The radiation oncologist spent a lot of time showing me the masses in my pre-treatment CT scan, compared with the one I had at the end. Seeing how huge the cancer was to start with and that it is essentially non-existent now, is a somewhat comforting feeling. The tiny grey area that still remains on the scan, should disappear with the radiation I will soon start.

I have made it through half my treatment (the chemo) and have half to go (the radiation), but I think the first half was probably the majority of the fight and I made it through that successfully.